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During the recent Somali pirate standoff with U.S. forces, when American sea captain Richard Phillips was being held hostage, Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer confidently concluded that "the good news is that these [pirates] are not jihadists. If it's a jihadist holding a hostage, there is going to be a lot of death. These guys are interested not in martyrdom but in money."

British police have released nine of the 11 mostly Pakistani men arrested during a major anti-terror operation in northwest England earlier this month. (Source)

European researchers said they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese 581 e, but realised that a neighbouring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habitable zone for potential life. (Source)

 

Published in Scientific Advances

Here is an article written by lawyer and author, Randel Abdel-Fattah. My interpretation: Islamists have losts their way, interpreting their religion to suit their needs. I agree with the Abdel-Fattah. It is how I felt about how Christ's message of love being drowned in a confusion of priorities, when I wrote the article Two Thousand Years Later -- The Passion Of The Christ.

What I take from this article is this

"...one must understand that Islam has no church; no person or institution embodies God's divine authority. There is simply no authoritative centre other than God and Prophet Mohammed. Both are represented by texts, which must be interpreted: first, the Koran, and second, the documented sayings and traditions of Mohammed. Each Muslim will interpret the Koran and Prophet's sayings through the prism of the human mind, refracting different meanings depending on education, class, gender, culture and so on. The Islamic juristic tradition is based on an ethos of diversity and egalitarianism because of the principle that truth is accessible to all regardless of class, race or gender."

This stance is somewhat similar to Martin Luther's more egalitarian approach to Christianity. However, this article is impotant because it confirms the arguments I have made in The Tyranny Of God.

"We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we're calling the war on terror now," said David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer who was a specialist adviser for the Bush administration and is now a consultant to the Obama White House. (Source)

An Azeri immigrant in Russia's northern city of Saint Petersburg has been charged with hiring hit men to kill his 21-year-old daughter for wearing a mini-skirt, police say...Russia has experienced a revival of conservative religious tradition since the fall of the Soviet Union both within its Russian Orthodox and large Muslim communities. (Source)
Thursday, 16 April 2009 10:00

Taliban murder women's champion

A LEADING female Afghan politician was shot dead after leaving a provincial council meeting in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, that her colleagues had begged her not to attend.Sitara Achakzai was attacked by two gunmen on Sunday as she arrived at her home in a rickshaw, a vehicle colleagues said she chose to use to avoid attracting attention.The Taliban claimed responsibility. (Source)

PERSONAL COMMENT: Empowering women is probably the best way to dilute the virulent effects of a religion that is written by men. Unfortunately for Afghan women, Sitara Achakzai has been murdered

THE NEXT few months will be crucial in defusing a global terrorist threat that would be even deadlier than the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, a leading Washington counter-terrorism expert warns. David Kilcullen ? a former Australian army lieutenant colonel who helped devise the US troop surge that revitalised the American campaign in Iraq ? fears Pakistan is at risk of falling under al-Qaeda control. (Source)

Personal Comment: While Islamic fundamentalists are inching their way to getting their hands on nuclear weapons, many of us still insist that beliefs should remain unchallenged, regardless of how destructive they may prove to be.

"THE Pope has compared attempts to purge religion from public life to the mockery Jesus faced from the mob. Increasingly, secular Western societies risked drifting into a "desert of godlessness", Pope Benedict XVI warned in an uncompromising Good Friday address. (Source)"

Is a world with religion better than a world without religion? The Pope says yes. The Pope warns us about a world without religion but how much better is the world now with religions dominating the minds of many people? I ask: Is religion really effective in making people behave well? Many of the crimes we see now are caused purely by religious beliefs.The Islamic fundamentalists are motivated to kill purely because of Koranic verses that instruct them to subdue infidels and non believers. Just this week, a mother shoots her son from the back because she believed she was the anti-Christ. By killing her son, she sends him to Heaven. She has a record of being mentally ill and so many people might dismiss her actions as being just simply crazy. However, her beliefs that an anti-Christ exists and there is life after death led her to do what she did. Would she have killed her son if she did not believe in these religious ideas?

Sunday, 12 April 2009 10:09

US weighs up military strikes in Somalia

OBAMA Administration officials are debating how to address a potential terrorist threat from a Somali extremist group, with some in the military advocating strikes against its training camps.But many officials maintain that uncertainty about the intentions of the al-Shabab organisation dictates a more patient, non-military approach. (source)